Issue Date: August 22, 2019 – The Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) requests proposals for leased space in a vibrant physical location to serve as a Downtown Innovation Space for start-ups and entrepreneurs located within the current TIRZ #3 geographical boundaries.
Technology and innovation are powerful engines for economic growth and vitality in cities today. Growing innovation economies in American cities have generated benefits such as jobs, higher wages, and tax revenue. These economies require the presence of a talented workforce, high-quality incubators and small office space, and a concentration of research and development assets including research universities, business accelerators, business support services, and access to venture capital. The concept of an “innovation cluster” is essential to spurring innovative start-ups and established digital technology companies as well as attracting investors and top talent. Opportunities for collaboration and advancement result from the numerous collisions and points of friction that stem from having a critical mass of business start-ups and research in a single area.
The Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s long-term goal, in collaboration with the City of Houston and other organizations, is to establish a vibrant innovation space to become the center of gravity for technology and entrepreneurship in the northern node of the Houston Innovation Corridor. Strategically located within Houston, Downtown is uniquely positioned as the northern node of a larger innovation corridor that can leverage distinct partnership advantages with UH-Downtown, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, Rice University and the Texas Medical Center in order to grow entrepreneurial activity and retain local talent. The Downtown Innovation Space can also leverage Downtown’s advantage in the energy sector by encouraging incubator and accelerator cohorts targeted at energy technology, manufacturing technology, alternative energy, efficiency in logistics, sustainably, and energy lifecycle companies, as well as the desired urban lifestyles of employees and company founders. Healthcare, sports tech, space, cybersecurity, enterprise software development, climate resilience and adaptation, and autonomous vehicle innovation are all strong secondary sectors with innovation potential. The physical space would be uniquely positioned with the core ecosystem components to foster the environment to develop and launch disruptive concepts and new ventures.
Background on the Downtown Redevelopment Authority
The purpose of the DRA is to facilitate positive development of the area within the Tax Increment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) boundaries. Tax increment dollars collected within the boundaries of the Zone are reinvested back into the Zone with the guidance and approval of the DRA Board of Directors. It accomplishes this by providing financial incentives through public/private sector partnerships designed to make Downtown Houston a place where Houstonians and visitors want to live, work and play. Additional information regarding the DRA and the Zone can be found at: www.downtowntirz.com.
Requirements and Information Requested
- Location: Must be within the Tax Increment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) Boundaries (see attached map)
- Environment: We are seeking a mixed use or creative environment with the ability to attract start-ups, please describe building amenities, surrounding walkable neighborhood and access to transportation options.
- Term: 10 Years
- Office Space:
- Existing Property
- Class A, B, or C
- 15,000 – 20,000 Square Footage
- Price Per Square Foot
- Projected Operating Expenses
- Parking and Transit Access
- Incentives: Offered by Lessor (Tenant Improvements, Rent Abatement, Other)
- Proposed Site Plan
Responses will be evaluated on the following criteria:
The DRA shall examine each proposal according to a set of objective and subjective criteria. Particular consideration will be given to:
- Lessor’s relevant experience, and past performance with innovative projects
- Concept/approach to create an environment to attract entrepreneurs
- Access to walkable amenities
- Plans for branding
- Strength of financial proposal
- The post-proposal presentation made to the DRA
- All proposals meeting both the intent and deadlines of this request for proposal will be considered for
- Employees, directors, and officers of the DRA are prohibited from responding to this RFP or being a direct party to any contract resulting from this
- Proposals will be evaluated on a variety of quantitative and qualitative criteria, including proposal completeness, development concept, and proposed fit and strategy for innovation ecosystem.
- Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the DRA selection committee. The findings and recommendations of the selection committee will be presented to the full DRA Board of Directors for final The project will not move forward without full board approval.
RFP produced by:
Selection Process & Project Schedule
RFP Issued (First Advertisement) 8-22-2019
Second Advertisement 8-29-2019
Questions for Staff from for Finalist Parties 9-12-2019
Proposal Due Date 9-19-2019
EDC Notification 9-27-2019
DRA Board Approval 10-8-2019
Agreement Completed / Lease Executed 11-15-2019
Design Anticipated to begin 12-2-2019
Construction anticipated to begin 2-3-2020
Sensitivity: Sensitive information provided by proposers, and identified by the proposer as sensitive information, shall be held in confidence by the DRA and shared only on a need-to-know basis; however, the DRA shall not have any liability to proposer for any failure to keep such sensitive information confidential.
Award of the Right to Negotiate Final Agreement
- The DRA reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal without cause. The right to negotiate the final agreement with the DRA will be awarded to the proposer determined to be the best suited and qualified to achieve the innovation ecosystem Space.
- The DRA may select a proposal based on initial offers received without an opportunity for further discussion of such Therefore, initial offers should be submitted to the DRA on the most favorable terms. Terms and provisions of the proposal must be complete, clear and accurate.
- The DRA is except as otherwise provided herein, this Request for Proposal is intended to serve only as a mutual expression of the intentions of the parties, and the parties shall not be obligated to proceed.
- Proposals will not be altered or amended after submission Any interlineations, alteration, or erasure made prior to submission deadline must be initialed by the signer of the proposal to guarantee authenticity.
- Proposals due: September 19, 2019 at 5:00 PM, Central Standard Time
- Hard Copy Format: 8.5”x11” letter size, spiral bound
- Six (6) copies of the Proposal package should be submitted to:
Downtown Redevelopment Authority
Attn: Robert Pieroni, Director of Economic Development
909 Fannin Street, Suite 1650
Houston, TX 77010
All proposals must be received on or before September 19, 2019 at 5:00 PM Central Standard Time. Proposals and modifications received after this deadline shall not be considered.
a) Failure to submit per the above guidelines may result in disqualification by the DRA.
b) Responding proposals must answer all requests for information. Omissions, inaccuracies, or misstatements may result in rejection of a Proposal.
c) The DRA shall be the owner of all submitted Proposal packages. Bidder materials shall not be returned.
d) Expenses incurred in preparing and submitting Proposals in response to this RFP shall be the sole responsibility of the bidders.
e) The DRA reserves the right to reject any one or all proposals without cause and in its sole and absolute discretion.
Proposals received by the DRA after submission deadline will be considered null and void.
a) A Pre-Submission Conference shall be/was held at 2:00 PM, CST, on September 12, 2019 at the Downtown Redevelopment Authority office located at 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, TX 77010.
DRA TIRZ #3 RFP Q&A
1. Who’s backing this project? Which buildings are a viable option?
This project is an exploratory Requests for Proposals (RFP) issued by the
Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA). The DRA will be the official leasing tenant of the innovation space. The building must be located within the current City of Houston (COH) TIRZ #3 geographical boundaries.
2. Where is the TIRZ map located?
Here is the link to the COH Tax Increment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) boundaries
3. Who will be the tenant?
The DRA will be the tenant and the innovation components (i.e. accelerators,
startups) will be occupying and operating within the space.
4. Does the DRA want the space to be branded around their logo?
No, the physical space would be uniquely branded as the northern node of the Houston Innovation Corridor.
5. Dose the DRA want the Innovation hub branded?
Yes, the DRA would like this unique asset to be branded as the center of gravity
for technology and entrepreneurship in the northern node of the Houston
6. Is the Start / Opening date flexible?
Yes, the timeline for the opening date can be extended. If the proposal is to extend the opening date timeline the DRA would prefer the proposer to have a temporary solution to cover the timing extension.
7. Is there a bias towards turnkey or tenant improvement allowance?
No, the DRA does not have a bias.
8. Will there be DRA staff located within the hub?
No, there will not be any DRA staff located within the Innovation Hub.
9. Does the DRA have a specific budget for the project?
No, the DRA encourages interested parties to submit their best and final
10. Does the DRA want revenue opportunities?
11. What does the layout of space look like?
The space should be designed to attract innovative start-ups, established digital technology companies, investors and top talent. The layout should include: Small Individual Offices, Open Workspaces (i.e. Co-working), Common Spaces (Kitchen, Lounge Style Area), Small Rooms for Solo or Small Group Work, Accelerators and Incubators Space.
12. Is there opportunity to expand the requirement?
At this time the DRA is only evaluating the required space within the RFP. However, the Board of Directors could choose in the future to expand the physical footprint if desired.
13. Does DRA need to go through procurement if the building provides a turnkey solution?
14. Is there a need for event space? Or other amenities in the building?
The RFP does not require event space. However, consideration will be given to the overall environment and amenity mixture of the building.
In Addition, because this is currently an active DRA RFP I, Robert Pieroni, Director of Economic Development, will be posting all questions and responses on the Authority’s website www.downtowntirz.com.
Pre-Submission Conference Attendance: Lawson Gow, the Cannon; Evita
Santibañez, Lovett Commercial; Andy Buchmann, Amegy; Mark Gribbons, Gensler.
Any further inquiries, please e-mail email@example.com.
Throughout the response period, all proposer questions relating to the scope of work or this RFP document should be directed via email to Robert Pieroni via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; any Addenda issued in response to DRA will also be posted on the Authority’s website downtowntirz.com. Telephone queries will not be addressed by the Authority.
The RFP has been advertised for a two-week period beginning August 22, 2019. The RFQ and associated Addenda per the project schedule, including the attendance roster from the Pre-submittal Conference, will be available for download on the Authority’s website, www.downtowntirz.com. The following block text communicates the advertisement.